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Being Nice May Be In Our Genes (11th April, 2012)

A new study shows that being nice may be in our DNA. The study is from the University of Buffalo in the USA. Researchers there say they think they have found the genes for the “love hormone” oxytocin. The scientists believe people who have more oxytocin are nicer and more generous. Head researcher Dr Michel Poulin said oxytocin can help you to stop thinking that the world is a bad place. He added the chemical can also make you want to help other people.

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The research team said the “love gene” on its own does not make someone nice. They stressed that a nice family and good friends are also important. Dr Poulin wrote: "We aren't saying we've found the niceness gene, but we have found a gene that [helps].” He added: "So if one of your neighbors seems a really generous, caring…kind of person, while another seems more selfish, tight-fisted and not as interested in [helping others], their DNA may help explain why one of them is nicer than the other."

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.
Paragraph 1

1.

in our

a.

University of Buffalo

2

The study is from the

b.

generous

3.

the genes for the

c.

help other people

4.

nicer and more

d.

“love hormone”

5.

thinking that the world

e.

DNA

6.

make you want to

f.

is a bad place

Paragraph 2

1.

The research

a.

the niceness gene

2

good friends are

b.

them is nicer

3.

We aren't saying we've found

c.

team

4.

we have found a gene

d.

also important

5.

a really generous, caring kind

e.

that helps

6.

explain why one of

f.

of person


LISTENING GAP FILL


A __________________ that being nice may be in our DNA. The study is from the University of Buffalo in the USA. Researchers there say they think they have __________________ for the “love hormone” oxytocin. The scientists __________________ who have more oxytocin are nicer and __________________. Head researcher Dr Michel Poulin said oxytocin can help you to __________________ the world is a bad place. He added the chemical can also __________________ help other people.
The research team said the “love gene” __________________ not make someone nice. They stressed that a nice family and good friends __________________. Dr Poulin wrote: "We aren't saying we've found __________________, but we have found a gene that [helps].” He added: "So if one of your neighbors seems __________________, caring…kind of person, while another seems more selfish, __________________ not as interested in [helping others], their DNA may __________________ one of them is nicer than the other."


MULTIPLE CHOICE


A new study (1) ____ that being nice may be in our DNA. The study is from the University of Buffalo in the USA. Researchers there say they (2) ____ they have found the genes (3) ____ the “love hormone” oxytocin. The scientists believe people who have more oxytocin are nicer and more        (4) ____. Head researcher Dr Michel Poulin said oxytocin can help you to stop thinking that the world is a (5) ____ place. He added the chemical can also make you want to help (6) ____ people.
The research team said the “love gene” on its (7) ____ does not make someone nice. They stressed that a nice family and good friends are         (8) ____ important. Dr Poulin wrote: "We aren't (9) ____ we've found the niceness gene, but we have found a gene that [helps].” He added: "So if one of your neighbors (10) ____ a really generous, caring…kind of person, while another seems more selfish, (11) ____-fisted and not as interested in [helping others], their DNA may help (12) ____ why one of them is nicer than the other."
Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

showing

(b)

shows

(c)

showers

2.

(a)

thinking

(b)

think

(c)

thought

3.

(a)

for

(b)

by

(c)

at

4.

(a)

general

(b)

generous

(c)

generation

5.

(a)

bad

(b)

bald

(c)

bid

6.

(a)

another

(b)

others

(c)

other

7.

(a)

own

(b)

self

(c)

alone

8.

(a)

as well

(b)

further

(c)

also

9.

(a)

speaking

(b)

saying

(c)

talking

10.

(a)

seems

(b)

lives

(c)

nice

11.

(a)

loose

(b)

fist

(c)

tight

12

(a)

discuss

(b)

share

(c)

explain


SPELLING


Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

A new tsudy

2.

they think they have oufnd the genes

3.

The scientists evielbe people

4.

nicer and more eosreugn

5.

head earecrsrhe

6.

He added the ahccimle

 

Paragraph 2

7.

They tssersed that a …

8.

good friends are also mponirtta

9.

one of your rhgosenbi

10.

cngira…kind of person

11.

another seems more lisfehs

12.

their DNA may help lxepain why


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER


Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

chemical can also make you want to help other people.

1  )

A new study shows that being nice may be in our DNA. The study is from the University of

(    )

help you to stop thinking that the world is a bad place. He added the

(    )

nice. They stressed that a nice family and good friends are also important. Dr Poulin wrote: "We aren't

(    )

of your neighbors seems a really generous, caring…kind of person, while

(    )

hormone” oxytocin. The scientists believe people who have more oxytocin are nicer and

(    )

saying we've found the niceness gene, but we have found a gene that [helps].” He added: "So if one

(    )

Buffalo in the USA. Researchers there say they think they have found the genes for the “love

(    )

another seems more selfish, tight-fisted and not as interested in [helping

(    )

more generous. Head researcher Dr Michel Poulin said oxytocin can

(    )

others], their DNA may help explain why one of them is nicer than the other."

(    )

The research team said the “love gene” on its own does not make someone


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT


With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

DNA     our     in     be     may     nice     Being.    

2.

have    found    the     genes     for     the     “love.     They    hormone”

3.

who     People     nicer     are     oxytocin     more     have.    

4.

world     bad     Stop     the     a     that     is     place     thinking.    

5.

you     Make     people     other     help     to     want.    

6.

A     and     are     family     friends     important    nice     good     also.    

7.

niceness     saying     gene     we've     found     We     the     aren't.    

8.

A     kind     really     of     generous     person     ,     caring.    

9.

in     others     Not     interested     helping     as.    

10.

than     of     nicer     other     one     is     the     Why     them.    


DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


WRITING


Write about being nice for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
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______________________________________________________________________________


HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. BEING NICE: Search the Internet and find more information about the being nice gene. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about being nice. Include an imaginary interview with someone who wants to be nice. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to a “being nice” expert. Ask him/her three questions about being nice. Give him/her three of your opinions on how to be a nicer person. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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